Rio Grande National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1803 W. Highway 160
Monte Vista, CO 81144
Decker Fire Update
November 1, 2019
Matt Spring, Type 3 Incident Commander
Information Center: (719) 626-1095
Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Interactive map for the Decker Fire: https://tinyurl.com/deckermap
Crews Continue to Monitor Smokes on the Decker Fire
Closures and Public Safety: The Rio Grande Forest and BLM have updated their closures. See their websites for their current closures. Rio Grande Forest closures: https://tinyurl.com/RioGrandeClosures (see 19-06 Closure). BLM closures: Facebook @BLMColoradoFire and https://tinyurl.com/BLMClosure.
San Isabel Forest closures remain the same. For updates or changes, visit their website: https://tinyurl.com/SanIsabelClosures. Please respect closures. For questions, please contact the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office: 719-539-2596, or the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office: 719-276-5555 or go to the Chaffee County Sheriff or Fremont County Sheriff Facebook pages and websites.
Weather and Fire Behavior: As the weather warms, dry fuels that retained heat are starting to warm back up. These large and heavy fuels have created some visible smoke. With the received precipitation, fuel moisture will steadily increase as the snow melts, which will eventually be enough moisture to cool these larger pockets of heavy fuels. No fire spread is expected to occur from these smokes, due to the continued cold weather.
Current Situation: The majority of firefighters and equipment have been demobilized now that the weather is conducive to travel. Those that remain continue to work on taking care of the logistical concerns, to minimize the Incident Management Team’s impact on the local community. With the minimal fire activity, the Type 3 team anticipates transitioning tomorrow morning back to the local unit. Local crews will continuously monitor visible smokes and take action if necessary. Conditions allowing, these crews may work to complete suppression repair tasks in the areas that will be accessible.
Questions continue on the status of containment of the Decker Fire. Due to the remote and rugged access to some areas of the fire, firefighters could only safely access 62% of the fire perimeter during peak activity. All (100%) of that 62% has been contained. This means firefighters have physically set foot on those firelines to declare those portions of line contained. When looking at the fire map, this is displayed by the black line around a portion of the perimeter.
The brown line around the fire map are the areas crews could not access safely. This brown line will be contained naturally in a season-ending event, which is currently happening with the snow the area is receiving. At this time with the current weather conditions, all areas of the fire remain inaccessible due to snow. Therefore, fire managers are unable to confidently claim that the entire fire perimeter (including the brown lines) is completely contained. The areas with brown lines will be monitored by the local fire crews throughout the winter, though the moisture from the snowpack will eventually put the fire completely out.
Location: Fire started 9 miles south of, and is now burning 2 miles south of Salida, CO
Start Date: September 8, 2019
Size: 8,959 acres
Percent Contained: 100% of the full suppression portion of the fire
Total Personnel: 13
Resources Include: 1 Engine